Thanks to the brutal knee injury he suffered last summer, there’s no guarantee Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play football again. Nevertheless, head coach Mike Zimmer spoke encouragingly about Bridgewater’s future Friday, telling Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press that he’s optimistic the 24-year-old will be a Viking for the long haul (Twitter link). While Bridgewater is technically entering a contract year (the Vikings declined his fifth-year option for 2018 earlier this week), he won’t necessarily be a free agent next offseason. If Bridgewater starts the season on the physically unable to prepare list, he’d miss at least six games, causing his contract to toll, reports Mike Florio of the Pro Football Talk. Thus, Bridgewater would remain a Viking in 2018 for the same salary he’ll make this year ($1.354MM).
More from around the league:
- The odds of the Lions re-signing free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin continue to decrease, writes Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. The two sides haven’t had contact in over a month, notes Meinke, who points out that recent developments suggest Boldin won’t return to Detroit for a second year. The Lions used a third-round pick on wideout Kenny Golladay in last week’s draft, for one, and then gave away Boldin’s No. 80 to fourth-round tight end Michael Roberts. (Theoretically, Boldin could get that number back in a negotiation with Roberts, but Meinke regards it as a sign that the Lions are going in another direction.)
- The Jets released safety Marcus Gilchrist on Thursday, but they aren’t ruling out re-signing him “once he heals” from his knee injury, head coach Todd Bowles said Friday (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). The six-year veteran tore his patellar tendon last season, which limited him to 13 games and forced him to injured reserve in mid-December. Gilchrist has started in all of his appearances dating back to 2013, but it seems doubtful that streak would continue if he were to return to the Jets. Gang Green, after all, used its first- and second-round picks in the draft on safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
- Before signing with the 49ers, notable undrafted free agent tight end Cole Hikutini drew interest from the Saints, Lions, Patriots, and Texans, tweets Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Hikutini, a Louisville product, was a favorite of many draftniks — Rob Rang of CBSSports.com, for instance, graded Hikutini as a fifth- or sixth-round selection. Ultimately, Hikutini landed a $20K guarantee from San Francisco.
- The possibility of free agent quarterback Blaine Gabbert signing with the Cardinals “remains alive,” tweets Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Gabbert has an important fan in Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, per Somers.
Zach Links and Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.